They Weren’t People

When he first came across it, it looked to him like the bowl of a giant toilet. It was porcelain, gleaming white, and it curved up to a lid at the top. The bowl was about six feet around, the black hole of a drain it fed into three feet around. But that was it–no tank, no handle to flush. Just the bowl of a giant toilet in the middle of a room.

It seemed like a living room. Every other room in this abandoned house was rotting away, but this one seemed immaculately kept. The carpet was vacuumed, there was art on the walls, and there were clean couches and chairs. He realized, standing next to the bowl, that all of the couches and chairs were pointed toward the drain. And then, from the side, he was pushed.

The back of his head hit the inside of the bowl with a crack. His arms and legs splayed out instinctively, but it was too late. He was already going down. His body got stuck about three feet down, shaped like the letter U, with arms, legs, and face pointed upwards. He could be a large drain plug.

Already, he could hardly breathe. His own chin was closing his windpipe, the back of his neck twisted in an unnatural angle. Pain shot out of his lower back like a fuel-fed fire. A putrid stench rose up from out of the blackness. Above him, figures started to appear.

They weren’t people.

They seemed to be perpetually in shadow, their features always just out of view. They stared at him with passive curiosity for a moment, then reached for his feet. Several of them worked at his shoes even as he kicked and thrashed. His spine exploded with pain at each movement.

They removed his shoes, then his socks, their fingers wet and cold on his skin. The smell from down the pipe seemed to be getting worse. He started to gag. The figures had cracked, uneven fingernails. Fingernails or claws. They raked them against his toes, slid them between his nails and the underskin of his toes. Some of them squeezed his toes till they felt like they might burst like overripe cherry tomatoes.

When the tongues touched, they were oozing strips of sandpaper on his skin, scraping between the toes to get the full taste. His vision tunneled as he slowly blacked out from lack of oxygen, but one feature came into view as everything else faded away. He saw their jagged teeth as they bit into his toes and ripped clean through.

He fought when they started to pull him out of the bowl by his feet, but eventually he slackened. The figures chattered and moaned like lovers in coitus as they waited for him to reach the top. When he did, he kicked everything he could make contact with.

And then, there was freefall.

And then, there was the sensation of losing yourself.

And that was all right.


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